Sony a7 III vs. a7r III: The Complete Comparison
In this article, we break down the key differences between the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III, as well as provide a detailed analysis of their best features, so you can decide which is the best fit for you.
The Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III are mirrorless full-frame cameras released about a year apart. Both of these cameras have similar designs and features at different price points, so deciding between the two can be a bit tricky.
We broke down the basics for you, and give a detailed comparison of the defining features between the two to make your decision process easier. Check out the following:
Here are the side-by-side specs of the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III:
|Sony a7 III||Sony a7r III|
|Price||New: $1,998.00, Used: $1,700||$2,498.00, Used: ~$2,000|
|Sensor||24MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS||42MP Full-Frame BSI-CMOS|
|Articulating LCD Screen||Yes||Yes|
|LCD Screen Size||3||3|
|Lens Type||Sony E Mount||Sony E Mount|
|Continuous Shooting Speed||10.0 fps||10.0 fps|
|High-Speed Video||120 fps||120 fps|
|Low Light ISO||3730||3523|
|Battery Life||610 Shots||650 Shots|
|Selfie Friendly LCD||No||No|
|Lenses Available||116 (72 Full Frame)||116 (72 Full Frame)|
Looking at key specs can give you an idea of what camera may better fit your needs, but here we provide a detailed explanation to help you understand how these features affect the functionality of each camera.
Image via Techradar
As far as mirrorless full-frame cameras go, the Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III both have very similar, compact designs. Their dimensions are the same at 127x96x74mm, and the Sony a7r III is slightly heavier at 657g compared to the 650g of the Sony a7 III.
These cameras feature a small grip and the same button layout, which features smaller buttons than past generations. The Sony a7r III has one small difference in layout, as it features an additional socket for the flash sync.
Both of these cameras have articulating LCD screens, which allows for flexibility when shooting at different angles. The Sony a7r III’s LCD screen offers a higher resolution, making the quality live view sharper and smoother.
The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III both feature Electronic View Finders (EVF), but there is a slight difference between the EVF in each camera. The Sony a7r III utilizes a more advanced EVF with high resolution and the ability for High-Speed 120fps, which contributes to a smoother live view and sharper view.
Image via DPReview
Neither of these cameras incorporate a built-in flash, but they do have the option for external flash mounts. The Sony a7r III has a socket for external flash sync, whereas the Sony a7 III does not.
The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III deliver great image results, and have similar image results for standard shoots. The main difference between the cameras lies within the sensor of the Sony a7r III, which has a 42MP sensor resolution. The Sony a7 III only has a 24MP, so the image quality of the Sony a7r III is sharper.
Image via Mirrorless Comparison
The Sony a7r III also features no AA filter, which allows you to take pictures without auto-blurring of details. Between the sensor advantage and lack of AA filter, the Sony a7r III delivers sharper images, especially in still shots like commercial and portrait photography.
This isn’t to say that the Sony a7 III can’t hold up with its 24MP, but if sharper image quality is an important feature for your needs, the Sony a7r III is the winner.
Low Light Images
Another main difference between the Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III is the ISO range and low light capability of the cameras.
The Sony a7 III features an ISO range of 100-51200, which can be expanded to 50-204800. The Sony a7r III has a smaller ISO range at 100-32000, which only expands to 100-102400.
With this advantage in ISO range, the Sony a7 III performs better in low light situations, with less noise in its shots. The differences in these cameras can be seen in the following examples, which highlight the noise in the Sony a7r III’s low light images and the strong performance of the Sony a7 III:
Image via Mirrorless Comparison
The autofocus technology on these cameras works well on each model, but there are slight differences between the two. The Sony a7 III features 693 detection points, which covers 93% of the image field, and the Sony a7r III features 399 detection points, or 68% of the image area.
Example showing the expansive coverage of the Sony a7 III’s autofocus technology:
Image via DPReview
The Sony a7 III has the advantage when it comes to autofocus, and it’s a great system if you do a lot of action or sports photography.
Another area where the Sony a7 III excels is, surprisingly, the continuous shooting. The Sony a7 III has a lower resolution, which gives the camera an advantage when it comes to buffering and continuous shooting.
Image example from the Sony a7 III:
Image via Fstoppers
The Sony a7 III has a larger buffer capacity, which allows for more burst images, and gives this camera an edge if you work heavily in action photography.
Both of these cameras have 3840×2160 video resolution with the high-speed option of 120fps. The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III both have microphone and headphone ports, which allow for external mics that produce better sound quality.
The autofocus technology of the Sony a7 III comes into play, allowing for smooth autofocus throughout the video, but it can be a bit unpredictable when there are multiple subjects in the shot.
Overall, the Sony a7 III and Sony a7r III deliver solid video results without much difference between the models.
The Sony a7 III and the Sony a7r III have very little difference in physical design, and the weight differences won’t matter once you’ve added lenses and any other accessories. The LCD and EVF design of the Sony a7r III provides a sharper, smoother view when using.
If you are a commercial or portrait photographer, the sharper image quality of the Sony a7r III will be a huge selling point, whereas the continuous shooting ability due to the Sony a7 III’s lower resolution may appeal more to action and sports photographers.
The autofocus and the low light ability of the Sony a7 III make it a great option for those who know they’ll be shooting in low light or action scenarios.
Overall, each camera is a great option for a mirrorless full-frame camera. If you plan on working with low light shoots and action photography, the Sony a7 III may fit your needs better. The Sony a7r III has a better sensor and provides sharper images.